What is a kneaded paper (Momigami)?

The word "momigami" in Japanese means "kneaded paper." Momigami is a type of paper that feels similar to fabric.

Various methods can be used to make momigami papers, including using different types of paper, starch, and unique techniques for kneading the paper. Regardless of the method used, all momigami papers share qualities such as durability, high flexibility, and a fabric-like texture.

Momigami can be used in many different art and crafts. You can use it to make lampshades, paper bags (some papers can be sewn), gift wrapping, bookbinding, and even for decor projects. There are so many possibilities!

Can you make a momigami at home? Definitely! Let's find out how.

Color momigami kozo paper

Kozo Studio's solid-colored momigami kozo papers

Material preparation

  • Paper: You can use any paper, really! Just don't use old or brittle papers.
  • Starch: You might see on other websites that momigami requires starch. However, that's not always the case! If you want the paper to be soft, starch is not required. If you want the paper to be a little crisp, that's where the starch comes in. The most commonly used and easiest to handle starch is Konnyaku powder. You can also try using tapioca flour or rice flour.
  • Others: You'll need a dish or a bowl to mix the starch, a paintbrush, and a smooth, clean surface like a plastic sheet or a flat surface that can handle the stickiness.

The Momi process (with starch)

  1. Mix one tablespoon of starch with a cup of warm water (150-200 ml) in the bowl you have ready.
  2. Thoroughly stir the mixture until you get a clear, consistently thick syrup
  3. Take a paintbrush and use it to cover both sides of each piece of paper with the mixture. You may need a sheet of plastic to cover the table, things will get sticky!
  4. Leave the paper to dry for a bit.
  5. When the paper is semi-dry, it is time to knead. Turn the four corners of the paper toward the center before gently crumpling it by hand.  Unfold it and repeat the process. Sounds simple right? However, the tricky part is how much you want the paper to crumble. The more you knead it, the closer to fabric it gets.
  6. When done, leave the paper to dry.
If you do not wish to use a starch, simply crumple and knead! However, you may want to handle the paper with even more care to avoid any damage.

    Here are the pictures of momigami kozo paper with and without the starch. Notice the difference?

    Thoroughly kneaded kozo paper without starch

    Momigami with starch (crisp and more robust)

    highly kneaded momigami kozo paper without starch

    Momigami without starch (soft and more fabric-like)

    At our store, we offer a variety of momigami papers in different styles. Whether you're a professional artist or simply looking to try your hand at this traditional Japanese paper art, we have the perfect momigami for you. Here are some examples.

    Solid-colored Momigami mulberry paper, skillfully kneaded with our unique starch blend, has a distinct crumpled rice paper texture that offers both a tactile sensation and remarkable flexibility.

    Colorful monigami paper with starch

    Milano Kozo is a remarkable marble paper of exquisite beauty, crafted using an exceptionally distinctive technique. Each sheet is meticulously handcrafted by delicately placing kozo paper atop swirling oil colors, and then marbled and crumble individually by hand. This process yields a paper with a gentle, crinkled texture, and a fabric-like quality.

    milano kozo paper momigami

    Momigami Gleaming Metallic Kozo boasts a metallic shiny surface on one side and a matte texture on the other. They're great whether you're looking to add some shimmer to your artwork or want to create a unique texture in your craft projects.

    golden metallic momigami kozo paper

    Double-sided Momigami has a unique feature of being duo paper, with two contrasting colors bonded together, providing additional creative opportunities.

    Duo Thai momigami kozo paper

    Kozo Studio's Mulberry paper gallery

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